Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

6 September 2016. It’s Time for the “Silent Hunt!”



It’s time for the “silent hunt”… that’s what people in Eastern Europe and Russia call the search for mushrooms in the autumn forest. Everybody has their “secret spots” hidden from all others… as you can see, hoo boy, the haul is humongous. Just about everybody dries most of them for the winter. As for me, I’m partial to gribi (mushrooms) any way that I can get them… I’m not picky… get yer grubbies on and get on out there!


Friday, 8 July 2016

The Bear in the Slavic Imagination

00 Russian Bear. Viktor Britvin 080716

Illustration by Viktor Britvin


Amongst the Slavic peoples, the bear is one of the main characters in folklore zoölogy, being a symbol of fertility, health, and strength. The Slavs have always respected bears… they considered them the masters of the forest. The Slavs dated the coming of spring with the bears waking up from hibernation. They believed that bears had special wisdom, which could protect them from witchcraft, disease, and all sorts of bad things.

7 July 2016

Slavyanskaya Kultura


Saturday, 30 April 2016

30 April 2016. “Born in the Year of the Goat”

00 goat 090416


The Chinese Zodiac moves on a 12-year cycle. According to Chinese belief, every year is associated with one of the Zodiac figures. Well, what Western years are equivalent to the Year of the Goat? Here’s a list:

  • 1907
  • 1919
  • 1931
  • 1943
  • 1955
  • 1967
  • 1979
  • 1991
  • 2003
  • 2015

The Chinese year begins in late January or early February and goes into January/February of the next Western year.

“Goat people” aren’t overly fond of sudden changes or impulsive decisions. Rather, they find comfort in repetition and well-laid plans, having a natural inclination towards this type of work and are skilled at pulling together actions and events in a manner that flows naturally. However, they’re protective about who they let into their inner circle. Not just anyone can get to know a “Goat person”. Rather, they must prove themselves steadily over time, through kind gestures and loving support, until they win final acceptance.

Neither Nicky nor I are “Goat people”… I’m a “Horse person”… I’m supposed to be flexible, but stubborn when it comes to ideas, but also incredibly patient when it comes to hearing out what other people have to say. They favour straightforward and blunt conversation, yet, they avoid starting up unnecessary trouble. “Horse people” are incredibly loyal friends and partners. Perhaps, it’s because first impressions have a lasting effect, or simply that they wish to do well by others. However, they’re consistently there when friends need them. They’re also quite capable of resolving conflict.

Nicky is a “Tiger person”… incredibly strong and stable, however, they sometimes hold too much inside and can find it difficult to let stress out. They tend to act without warning. From setting out to discover new things to getting lost in their thoughts and dreams, they rarely ever show exactly how they’re feeling or what they’re thinking. Chinese belief posits that Tiger people and Horse people are quite compatible.

This was a fun little romp, wasn’t it?


Sunday, 24 April 2016

24 April 2016. From the Russian Web (By Way of Texas)… Happiness to All of Y’all on the Feast!

00 cat palm sunday 240416


I found this little guy all over the RuNet, so, I researched the image. It seems that the earliest posts of this were from Texas! Quite obviously, since we Russians use pussy willows instead of palms on Palm Sunday, one can see why Russians fell in love with this one. This is one of the Great Feasts of the Church… it reminds us that Easter is only one week ahead… I still have my kulichi to buy, I confess… forgive me, for I shall sin… I’m buying it and not baking it myself…


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